⇐   August 9th, 2009   ⇒ 

Copyright 2009 Michael Anttila

This week is a special "Guest Picture Of The Week"! Russell sent this photo to me, and I thought I would share it with everyone.

As you probably heard, there was a total solar eclipse on July 22nd, 2009. It was not visible in North America though... you had to be in Southeast Asia to see it. Russell carries on an Eclipse Chaser tradition in his family that involves travelling the world to attempt to see every total solar eclipse. This time he decided that his best chances to see this one would be in China.

Russell sent the following note along with the photo:

"The forecast called for rain in Shanghai, so my group (all 9 of us) hopped on a train for Hangzhou which was forecast to be somewhat less cloudy. It was cloudy most of the time before the eclipse, but the clouds broke up maybe 30 or so before totality. We were left with what looked like haze or high thin clouds. This haze didn't seem to block our view of totality much at all."

Russell also noted that the photograph was taken at Third Contact, just as the moon is moving away from totality and letting the sun start to shine past it again. Russell was luckier than most eclipse chasers this year. It was cloudy over most of India and China, so few people were able to observe the eclipse.

Technical details: This image was taken by Russell with a Pentax Optio S6 at 19mm, ISO 200, f/5.2 for 1/4 of a second (on a tripod). I ran it through NoiseNinja, cropped it, cloned out some hot pixels, and applied some slight curves in Photoshop to try to better represent what the sky actually looked like.

The street and satellite maps for this part of China don't seem to match up. I have put the marker at the precise location according to the satellite map, not the street map.


Awesome!  An eclipse chaser.... sounds like fun!
-- Aravind at 11:49pm, Saturday August 8, 2009 EST

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